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Dirty Dancing

Cover to original London cast recording

The classic story on stage. By Eleanor Bergstein

Aldwych Theatre, London - 24 October, 2006 - 9 July 2011


Its the Summer of 1963, and 17 year old Frances Houseman is about to learn some major lessons in life as well as a thing or two about dancing.

On holiday in New York's Catskill Mountains with her older sister and parents, 'Baby' shows little interest in the resort activities, and instead discovers her own entertainment when she stumbles upon the staff quarters when an all-night dance party is in full swing.

Mesmerised by the raunchy dance moves and the pounding rhythms, 'Baby' can't wait to be part of the scene, especially when she catches sight of Johnny Castle the resort dance instructor. 'Baby's' life is about to change forever as she is thrown in the deep end as Johnny's leading lady both on-stage and off with breathtaking consequences.

First dance. First love. You'll have 'the time of your life!'

‘That was the summer of 1963, when everybody called me Baby and it didn’t occur to me to mind…’

Experience the excitement and passion of the classic story as never before with brand new scenes written especially for the stage. Now with more Baby and Johnny, more sensational dancing and even more classic songs - you're sure to have 'the time of your life!'

Featuring the hit songs from the best selling movie soundtrack including; (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life, Hungry Eyes, Hey Baby and Do You Love Me?


(adapted from the film story from Wikipedia)

In the summer of 1963, seventeen-year-old Frances "Baby" Houseman is spending a holiday with her wealthy, Jewish, suburban New York family at Kellerman's, a fictional resort in the Catskill Mountains of New York. Baby is the socially conscious member of the family, planning to attend Mount Holyoke College to study economics and then to enter the Peace Corps, and she does not feel she fits in with the traditional stereotypes that suit her older sister Lisa perfectly. She has been named after Frances Perkins, the first woman to hold a position in the U.S. Cabinet. Baby's father, Jake is the personal physician of the resort owner Max Kellerman.

One evening, while at the family ballroom dance, Baby sees a Latin dance demonstration by the resort's dance instructor Johnny Castle and his dance partner, Penny. Johnny is by all standards a bad-boy rebel, part of the working-class staff whom all the resort-goers, and some of the middle class staff, treat like their servants. However, Johnny's good looks turn more than one female patron's head, including Baby's. Later on that same evening, while out for a walk, she is invited by Johnny's cousin to the staff quarters, where "dirty dancing" is all the rage. This raunchy dancing is up close and personal, not the stiff formal style people from her parents' generation are accustomed to. Here she gets a taste of the new dancing, and even gets an opportunity to dance with her crush, Johnny.

Then, while out on a date with the smarmy Neil Kellerman — grandson of Max— Baby sees the dancer Penny crying in the kitchen, and it comes to light that Penny is pregnant by Robbie - the same Robbie whom Baby's sister Lisa is dating. After Baby approaches Robbie about the subject and learns of his plans to do nothing about the pregnancy, Baby secures the money from her father to pay for Penny's illegal abortion. In her efforts to help, Baby also becomes Penny's fill-in for a performance at the Shelldrake, a nearby resort where Johnny and Penny are annual performers.

As Baby becomes Johnny's pupil in dance, tempers flare and sparks fly between the two of them. But Baby's dancing improves, and their performance at the Shelldrake goes reasonably well, except that Baby is too frightened to do the lifts, and they have a close call when they are almost seen by the Shumachers, an elderly couple from Kellerman's. When Johnny and Baby drive back to the resort after the dance, the sexual tension is high. But as soon as they return, they learn that Penny's abortion was botched, leaving the dancer in agonizing pain. Baby wakes her father the doctor and brings him to help, but he makes a mistaken assumption that Johnny was the cause of the pregnancy, and forbids Baby to have anything to do with the rest of Johnny's friends. Baby and Johnny must then keep their budding romance a secret. Things are revealed though, when Johnny is accused of stealing a wallet from one of the resort guests. To save him from being fired, Baby confesses that Johnny couldn't have done it, because she was with him in his cabin that evening. The theft is then discovered to have been a result of the longtime thieves, the Schumachers. Johnny is cleared of the theft charge, but still fired for having a relationship with a guest. However, Baby's selfless act inspires Johnny to realise that people can exhibit a higher standard of behaviour than what he had come to believe.

A scene from the dancing finale, as Baby overcomes her fears, and trusts in both Johnny, and herself, to allow him to lift her high in the air. Johnny, even though he's been fired, returns to the resort to perform the final dance of the season with Baby. Her parents see her for the first time as more than their innocent teenage daughter. Baby's father learns that the true culprit in Penny's pregnancy was Robby, not Johnny, and then he watches as his little girl dances a beautiful mambo.The show ends with an exciting dance sequence as Baby overcomes her fears to allow Johnny to lift her high into the air, and the formal ballroom is essentially transformed into a nightclub where everyone dances together, from the snobby upper-class patrons to all generations of their families, to the staff and even the working-class kids, all sharing in the joy of the dance.

Musical Numbers

  1. This Magic Moment
  2. Little Darlin'
  3. Merengue
  4. There Will Never Be Another You
  5. Johnny's Mambo
  6. Do You Love Me?
  7. Love Man
  8. This Land Is Your Land/We Shall Overcome
  9. Stubborn Kind Of Fellow
  10. Hungry Eyes
  11. Hey Baby
  12. Cry To Me
  13. Maybe
  1. Dawn
  2. Besame Mucho
  3. Save The Last Dance For Me
  4. If You Were The Only Girl
  5. Duke Of Earl
  6. Love Is Strange
  7. Hula Song
  8. Yes
  9. In The Still Of The Night (I'll Remember)
  10. Someone Like You
  11. Kellerman's Anthem
  12. I've Had The Time Of My Life